Eagle Rock Brewery Open For Business!


In charming Glassell Park! I’m just going to get this naming business out of the way and agree that its an unfortunate name for the brewery, considering its location. The owners have a reason for the name, but its kinda weak. And they say they thought about changing it, but it would have been too much red tape. That’s fair enough. But still, this should be a warning to all you would be re-namers of places: the people of Los Angeles are not so keen on such a casual re-purposing of geographical names. Seriously, take that into consideration. If I were from Glassell Park I think I’d put up a storm of protest, and with good reason. But I’m going to leave that business to others as I have enough tasks on my plate. At least it’s not as moronic as fools from Echo Park trying to claim that’s the Eastside.

Out of the way.

We found the place using math skills, cuz 3056 Roswell is on a non-descript street, and doesn’t even have a number. Not that I could tell. This be the brewery and tap room.

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Is Villaraigosa Creating a “Police State” in LA?


On Saturday morning I had coffee with a Los Angeles city worker, who (among other of his colleagues), is disturbed at the direction city leadership is laying out the LA Game-‘o-Life board. This week Mayor Villaraigosa said regarding the economic crisis fueled job cuts, “I don’t do this because I want to, I do this because I must.” Within this “a man must do what a man must do” blanket statement are also choices. In a city of approximately 40,000 city workers, there are 10,000 police and between 5,000 & 6,000 in the fire department, making them 40% of the city workforce. LA city workers have been appraised that Villaraigosa wants to focus on public safety first, translated means that other services in the city will suffer, but not the police forces.

Across my desk this week were dialogues about student actions being planned regarding the cuts in education, the closing of more parks in the city, the dissolution of the city’s Cultural Affairs Department (I got somewhere around 50 email petitions, which helped overturned this plan—gracias artistas!), an alarming price increase menu on traffic tickets with added rules (drivers beware!), gentrification plans to mow down more eastside historic buildings, and Pearl Art Store selling everything at 75% off (looks like they are going down).

As the students have noted in their various cries for continued funding, this city spends more on prisons and those who can imprison us, than things that can uplift us as a humanity, such as community spaces, art and education. I cringe to think what sort of summer we are headed for in LA. More negative places to be pushed into, armed monitors of humans to catch you erring, climbing prices on everything, mom and pops closing all around us, polluted city drinking water, no jobs, gas that cost more than a blood transfusion and no light at the end of the tunnel. My free-thinking art friends say “let the whole thing crash, we have survived worse.” I am starting to picture myself teaching an impromptu class to eager students on the street corner where they have been locked out of their schools.

Go directly to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Your friendly neighborhood council is having elections


With the city on the brink of anarchy and devastation, here is your chance to do something about it. By joining your local neighborhood city council. Fellow Boyle Heightian, “Rob” notified me about the  elections that are going to be taking place from March through June all over the city. How cool is that ? Neighborhood councils act as the eyes and ears of the the City council and of the council members in keeping up with what’s going on in the streets, but from the looks of things you would think that community blogs, like this one, are the new eyes and ears of the city. Anyway, having covered council meetings at school, I have some grasp and understanding as to how the councils work, the power they have and the positive changes they can make, with the right people in place. That and having utter contempt for Roberts rules of order. I motion to stick it where the sun don’t shine. I digress from my point, which is why you should join your neighborhood council or at the very least, be more active and show up to meetings.

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Serving Notice: Learn to Decipher Maya Hieroglyphics

BL FLier

The Mesoamerican Society at Cal State L.A and co-sponsor the Art History Society at CSULA are sponsoring a Maya Epigraphy Workshop on February 19-21. The three-day workshop will be taught by Dr. Bruce Love, one of the world’s main epigraphers and translator of The Paris Codex: Handbook for a Maya Priest (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994). These workshops generally cost hundreds of dollars but thanks to Prof. Love — who will be teaching this workshop for free — students can enroll for a minimum fee that will help defray the cost of workshop materials.

PRISON INC Opening Saturday 2.06.10 at Crewest Gallery DTLA


(click to enlarge image)

I saw a preview of a few pieces this past Monday and there’s some amazing sh*t that is above and beyond the usual prison art. DON’T MISS OUT. If you don’t make the opening then for sure make it out to see this show before it bones out.


**** ” Not recommended for a younger audience, but then again neither is prison.”- Man One aka Man Uno

CSUN Chicana/o Studies Furlough day and teach in

This past Wednesday at the big N, we took a department wide furlough day/walkout/teach-in. We are multi disciplinary so are our actions.

I didn’t call for a furlough day because then none of my students would have gone to campus, unless they had other classes, and they would have missed the march and teach in.

The weird thing about it all was that very few of the students knew what to do at a rally or march. Most had never been to a march. They grew up in an era of grotesque lies, conservativism, fear mongering and resistance to dehumanization but had never participated or seen what people did in the streets.

I met with my later class and asked “what will it take to get you angry and into the streets?” none could answer. I hope they come back with something on Wednesday.

Those people don’t value human life like we do


Mexican American woman with her dead baby in Los Angeles 1950. This photo from the Los Angeles Public Library photo collection speaks volumes about not only a grieving mother but also about our shared humanity and a repudiation of racism and stereotyping of any ethnic or racial group as being inherently violent and immoral, as is becoming so common with xenophobes and racists in the press and on the internet blog sites, even evident here sometimes at “LA Eastside”.

This racist demonization of a people seems especially popular nowadays as the terrible Narco Wars continue unabated in Mexico and innocent people are not only being murdered and traumatized, but to top it off castigated as genetically amoral and prone to violence and depravity.

Hopefully some day, the corruption and violence visited on the Mexican people by the wealthy ruling classes, Drug cartels, arms dealers, and avaricious police and military personnel, who all worship at the altar of the almighty dollar, will end.

2nd Annual Anarchist Bookfair: Some Pics


It’s a bit late, and other people have covered it but here’s a few pics I took of the recent LA Anarchist Bookfair at beautiful Barnsdall Park. Yes, when we’re not burning and looting, we do take some time to catch up on the latest theories and practices to be found in print, its ammo to fuel the anger. Haz click para la rabia!

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Hi-NRG aka Chicano Disco

Stop-Wake Up (Very awesome video filmed in Los Angeles and popular Hi-NRG song)

Over at my personal blog, I’ve been doing a series of posts based on a book I’ve been reading called Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco. I was fascinated to read the chapter on Hi-NRG or what I’ve come to call “Chicano Disco” (my nod to the moniker “Chicano Oldies”) and the music’s influence on a generation of Eastsiders.
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Choose Your Illusion?

The winds of educational change are blowing, but who the heck knows what’s going on? The LA Unified School District is holding elections where people can vote on different proposed plans to let private companies or the present public administration manage 36 underperforming LAUSD schools. It’s barely in the news. Is it because it affects almost entirely only working class people of color? (KPCC, Daily Breeze, The Wave.)

These votes don’t actually choose the plans, but, they will poll the stakeholders to get a sense of what they want to see at their schools. The school board makes the final decisions.

LAUSD has a web page with all the proposals. On that list are several eastside schools: new Esteban Torres HS, Garfield HS, Lincoln HS,

What do people think about this whole thing about bringing in outside management? Have you read any of the proposals? Are you voting?

[I added a link to the proposals and clarified who will run schools.]

2666, Not So Faraway


I’ve been reading 2666 by Roberto Bolaño for many months now. I’m a slow reader but this book in particular has really been a challenge. The book is divided into three parts with different narratives that eventually come together. The second part of the book is a fictional retelling of the murders in Juarez, MX.

In case you’ve living under a rock somewhere, for the past 20 years or so young women in the border town of Juarez have been mysteriously murdered and raped by unknown assailants. Most of the murderers have never been caught nor has the cause of the murders been definitively determined, although there is much speculation as to the motives behind the killings.
Bolaño uses an alias for Ciudad Juarez in the book and I imagine many of the details are lifted verbatim from the city’s crime scene files. This second part of the book is description after description of murder scenes told in a clinical fashion. The narrative is so gruesome, so haunting,  it provoked thoughts of fear: what if these kind of murders begin to happen in Los Angeles? The idea troubled me so, I had to take a break from the book.

Awhile ago, I came across this news story and a sharp chill ran through me as I read it. The details are almost identical to passages in 2666. Juarez is not so faraway.

CALIFORNIA BRIEFING; WHITTIER; 3 men arrested in attack on woman
Robert J. Lopez. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.:Aug 5, 2009. p. A.8

Three El Monte men were arrested Tuesday after allegedly slashing a woman’s throat and dumping her on the side of a steep canyon in Whittier, authorities said.

The woman, a 20-year-old Bellflower resident, suffered a 4-inch slash across her throat and had cuts and bruises on her body, said Jason Zuhlke, spokesman for the Whittier Police Department.

The men — Vincent Mendoza, 21; Edward Meraz, 24; and Jose Ayala, 27 — were booked on charges of attempted murder and kidnapping, Zuhlke said.

He said the woman underwent surgery at County-USC Medical Center and was listed in critical condition.

The woman knew the three men and had planned to go to the beach with them Monday, Zuhlke said.

Instead, they got in their car, tied her up with rope, beat her, cut her throat and left her in Turnbull Canyon in Whittier, he said.

“They dumped her and took off,” Zuhlke said.

The woman, still bleeding, eventually climbed up the hill to the 6000 block of Altmark Avenue, he said.

Neighbors were awakened about 3:30 Tuesday morning by the woman’s screams. She gave police the suspects’ names and a description of their vehicle.

Zuhlke said the three men, still in the Whittier area, were pulled over by police a short time later.

Three El Monte men face trial for Whittier attempted murder
3 plead not guilty in slashing of Bellflower woman

I have been unable to find any further information on this case.

To Love & Die in East L.A.


I have been in artiste/producer-mode recently. I’m so excited about our 2nd Annual La Botanica de Amor luv-fest for Valentines Day!! Since this is just one of Leslie Saiz’ and my brilliant ideas, making its second return—we R so proud. Last year an exclamation point became “alive”—as El Random Hero proclaimed “I want to find love!” Pachuco 3000, Abel Salas and I devised a whole male date auction with prizes. It was fun, funny and fundraising for the arts—YAY–I luv it!! read more Last time we did it (La Botanica, that is) the custodian (caught up in the excitement) jumped on the auction block and was bought for a home repair visit (ahem). Pachuco says it’s because he has the gift of salesmanship—(everyone, rub his head for luck.). This year Random is behind the scenes, scoring some delicious dinners-4-dos prizes; Pachuco is lining up the prime bachelorhood (because he says, “They gotta be chulos!”); and I am firing up my tarot cards for some ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ live love advice. To Love & Die in ELA, curated by Leslie Gutierrez Saiz opens too—why?–because only the artists on the eastside can break-it-down about our crazy-love lives verbally & visually (refer to image above)—it’s a Bonnie & Clyde thang, don’t ya know? Cheyenne is baking cup cakes and (ladies!) muralist Raul Baltazar (one of the bachelors-to-be-auctioned) is getting mas chulo every minute. More poetry, more music, more sweet treats, more art, more limpias para el amor, more love advice, more chances to find your ‘otro”, mas de todo! February, 13, noon to 5pm @ SHG, 3802 Cesar Chavez Avenue, ELA AND grab lunch there with Comida y Cultura!